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Warwick School – why continue to stick your head in the sand over historic sexual and physical abuse and the cover ups your organisation facilitated?

Tom Winnifrith
Friday 2 November 2018

The abuse that I suffered at the hands of the sadistic Geoffrey Eve forty years ago was physical. It is now more than six years since I first raised this with Warwick School and the banning of Eve from the campus showed that the school knows it had a problem. But the last Head Master played for time and failed to take concrete steps until he got a better job, and the new HM, Dr Deneal Smith,  has now had almost two months since we met and appears to have done nothing. Meanwhile more victims of abuse continue to make contact with me… another one appeared last night.

He had been sexually molested by a master. When he gave his age I guessed the subject the master tought and then offered a name. The, now, middle aged victim burst out in tears. He had thought he was the only one. Of course he was not.  This is the second Old Warwickian to have contacted me with identical patterns of behaviour regarding this master and the first victim said that there were others, ”lots of the boys knew” That is how I guessed the alleged perpatrator. Patterns repeat.

If the boys knew aboutb this pervert, so must have the teachers yet nothing happened.  This evil man carried on molesting unhindered and, guess what, he appears to have left Warwick with glowing references and appears to still be teaching. Oh happy days. Warwick’s failure to act meant that not only were pupils there molested but that little boys elsewhere were put in danger and still are in danger.

You will remember with Eve that he beat up little boys so the school gave him fully paid leave to get his act together. He returned to teaching duties just in time to teach me in 3A ( my final year at Warwick Junior school) and to then throw my head against a wall twice. He attacked many other boys over another two or three years before finally the school gave him early retirement on a full pension and “lost” all records of the various incidents.

How many other teachers engaged in physical or sexual abuse? Warwick appears not to know and certainly not to care. It is quite scandalous that now almost a dozen victims of abuse have come forward to me and have been put in touch with the school but only after stumbling on this obscure little website. Warwick needs to reach out to a far wider audience, perhaps via its OW magazine or an appeal to its online databases for something other than money, to see if there are other victims out there.

It seems Warwick would rather not know the scale of the problem. Or address its own manifest failings.

The good news is that last night’s OW now knows that he is not alone, he was one of many and emboldened by that he is now moving his conversations with the fuzz in Leamington up to the status of an official complaint. Maybe at last we will see action taken against this teacher and perhaps, as that happens, Warwick might start to examine its own appalling past failures with regard to duty of care and the cover-ups it engaged in.

There is no shame in Warwick School, which today is a fine, caring, establishment, opening up and admitting that in the past it failed its boys, to whom it owed a duty of care, over many years in a systemic way.  That process must start with a detailed article in the OW Magazine asking if other victims would like to step forward.

Or, as legal actions start to unfold, Warwick can continue to stick its head in the sand, it can continue to cover up for evil men and their enablers, it can continue to pretend that it has not failed and has no shame.

Over to you Head Master Deneal Smith… the time for procrastination is over.

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About Tom Winnifrith
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Tom Winnifrith is the editor of TomWinnifrith.com. When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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